Monday, January 28, 2013

Working with an Editor: "Happily Ever After"

When it comes to marriages in my stories, I enjoy the spontaneous or unusual. Sure, some people may not buy into the romance of it, but I love it. My take on marriage in a romance story is, "Why does there have to be rules?" Little about real-life romance makes sense, so why does it have to always make sense in a book? I say it doesn't, but it turns out that sometimes it does. Right about now you could be wondering what I'm yammering on about, but here's the thing--readers want the "happily ever after" ending. When we fail to deliver, we hear about it. BUT, yes, you had to know that was coming, when we give them too much of "happily ever after" we hear about that too. When we make something completely implausible, we hear about that. If it's way too ordinary, no one is really happy, so where's the middle ground? Heck if I know, but I've learned that most of the time, readers just want a great love story.

My editor pointed out that I like to write spontaneous marriages between strangers, and she's correct, I really do. I'm not fond of two people immediately falling in love--really how often does that happen. I also don't want every marriage to be arranged (as was often the norm in earlier periods). So, how do I find the balance? Well, if it hadn't been pointed out to me, I may have continued bringing couples together in the same way, book after book, and what's the fun in that? (You don't have to answer). By pointing this out, my editor inadvertently got my brain cells working in overdrive and after a moment of thought, BAM! a new storyline. I get to keep my somewhat spontaneous marriage (with a twist) and the readers get their happy ending.

What is your take on marriages and relationships in romance novels? Do you like instant love, last-minute marriages, long courtships? 

Disclaimer: My editor does not edit my blog posts, so I take full responsibility for any errors, as I'm certain there are a few.
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  1. I completely agree with your take on marriage in romances, "Why does there have to be rules?" I don't believe there should be any rules to writing romances because there definitely aren't any rules to falling in love. I read (and write) to escape from every day life so I like the spontaneous stuff that doesn't always happen in real life. The more spontaneous the better!

    Great post, MK! And you've got me very curious be your spontaneous marriage with a twist in your work in progress:-)

  2. I agree! 75% of what I read is to escape.

    The marriage twist is for the next British Agent Novel. The current WIP is a little more traditional . . . sort of. :)